Here I sit, just after midnight in the Doctor's examination room, alone. Thousands of miles from all those that I love best (bar one). It's dark outside, and the nights are getting steadily cooler (10 or 12 degrees). No fireworks tonight... which means there's no new stash of drugs in town. (They must have gone off last night, there were a couple requests for needles within an hour of each other). The hospital staff go through their quiet routines, checking that all carts are well stocked, peeking into rooms every hour to check on patients, and getting odd jobs done that we don't have time for during the day. Most tasks are already done, and so we sit and chat/gossip, some read the paper, some do homework assignments for university. And we wait for the next person to come through our doors. At the back of our minds, we all wonder, will this be a quiet night? Or will we see chaos walk through our doors. Here at the hospital, we all know the deepest secrets of the town, and we see the ebb and flow of the community. Sometimes, we know too much and it's easy to become jaded. How do you sympathize with the drunks and the druggies?
I know I'm bad for making flash judgements at times. First impressions are all too easy to stick with. On the other hand, I'm good at ignoring things and thinking the best of someone until other people point out their faults. And then the faults glare at me, and I have a hard time not noticing them. But I've been thinking things over a lot... and here's something I realized a few weeks ago. (sorry, but I can explain it best in story format):
I was talking with someone about various people that I've met, some of whom don't show their best side all the time. And as we were talking, I said (*Names changed for privacy), "every once in a while a see a glimpse of the real Charlotte". Later on, I really got to thinking on what I had said, and realized that that's exactly the way I need to view people. I need to forget about the mask most people show the world, and instead realize there is another side of them hidden deep inside. The side of them that God sees, the lovable, loving, gorgeous person that only shows through to close friends and family, and sometimes they don't even show that side to those people. I need to remember that there is a seed of something very special somewhere in everyone, that bit of potential that needs a lot of nurturing to be seen. I can't write anyone off, but instead need to keep trying my best to be positive.
That's my challenge for the weeks (and years) to come, to see the "real" person in the people around me. (It is so neat when you see it, especially if you keep noticing more and more of it.)